Great day for football signees

Published 6:00 am Friday, February 8, 2008

A chilly wind swept across Mississippi Wednesday morning. Itwelcomed the first official scholarship signing day for high schoolfootball stars.

It was a glorious day; full of dreams, promises and highexpectations. Parents and relatives posed with the signees, alongwith their high school coaches. There were plenty of smiles andcongratulations to light up several rooms.

On the local scene, the main item of business centered aroundfour players from Lincoln County. Receiving the most benefit wasCopiah-Lincoln Community College as quarterback Charles (Bobo)Rancifer and center Darion Smith of Brookhaven signed scholarshipswith the Wolfpack.

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BHS teammate and wide receiver Simmie Yarborough elected to signwith Southeastern Louisiana University, based in Hammond.

Meanwhile, at Brookhaven Academy, big offensive tackle PatrickWallace signed with Co-Lin.

At Wesson, linebacker Beau Wilson and wide receiver Terry Hensonhave decided to sign with Panhandle State (Okla.). The Aggies arean NCAA Division II independent, based in Goodwell, Okla.

At Lawrence County, two standout seniors signed junior collegescholarships. Linebacker/fullback Julius Magee is joining Co-Lin.Running back Isiah Ferdinand has signed with Southwest MississippiCommunity College.

At Hazlehurst, big offensive lineman Shawn Easterling has joinedCo-Lin.

Co-Lin head coach Glenn Davis said that Franklin Countydefensive lineman Josh Tillman has signed with Co-Lin. Tillman hadmade a verbal commitment to sign with Southern Miss last week.

Giant defensive tackle Bo Tillman withdrew from Franklin Countythis week and enrolled in Genesis One, a prep school located inMendenhall. He needs 13 core courses to graduate from high schooland qualify for college. Bo is trying to follow in the footsteps ofWayne County defensive lineman Jerrel Powe, who originally signedwith Ole Miss but was unable to qualify. After three years, Powe isstill trying.

Ole Brook athletic director Tucker Peavey reserved plenty ofpraise for his three signees. Besides being excellent footballplayers, they are good citizens, too.

“They are first-class kids,” said Peavey. “All three will besuccessful in college. They come from good families.”

Peavey’s Panthers finished 8-2 in 2007, winning the Region 6-4Achampionship. He has been selected to the South coaching staff forthis summer’s Mississippi High School All-Star Football Game whichwill be played in July. You could see Peavey coaching in theAlabama/Mississippi Classic next December, too.

At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Rancifer was instrumental in thePanthers’ outstanding season. He has been a 3-year starter atquarterback.

Rancifer could play either quarterback or defensive back atCo-Lin. He possesses speed, strength and quickness. Davis saidRancifer is “too good a player to be standing on the sidelines nextto me. He will play somewhere for us next season.”

Rancifer and Yarborough represented BHS in last December’sAlabama/Mississippi All-Star Classic. They helped Mississippi to abig victory. Yarborough caught several passes and Rancifer, playingsafety, returned an interception for a touchdown.

Smith (6-3, 250) is strong and quick. A good student, he wantsto major in business and minor in coaching.

The majority of Co-Lin’s sophomores wind up signing with seniorcolleges. This year’s crop saw offensive tackle Philip Freemansigning with Mississippi State. Defensive lineman D.J. Shaw signedwith West Virginia, offensive lineman Edward Prince inked withKansas State and tight end Jonathan Massey joined SouthernMiss.

Yarborough (6-1, 200) has plenty of potential at wide receiver.SEL head coach Mike Lucas said he was happy to have him joining theLions who are Division II members of the Southland Conference.

Lawrence County head coach Mike Davis said he was pleased to seeMagee and Ferdinand getting an opportunity to play at the nextlevel. “It’s been a pleasure to have them around for the last fouryears. They are good players and good students who are leaders onthe football field and in school.”

It is interesting to note that success in athletics andacademics are usually linked tightly together. Players need both tobe successful in life and in sports.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven,MS 39602 or